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Public Concern on Police Service’s Poor Morale Essay

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Updated: Jun 10th, 2022

The concern that the police service has poor morale can be investigated by a survey of the public’s attitude toward the police. Personal interactions have a strong impact on the perceptions that people have toward the police and the attitude that the police have on their job. The experiences of fellow police officers are also likely to shape the force’s opinion of its job. This report explores the requirements for effectively studying the attitudes of police officers within their job contexts and that of the public being served. The report will present additional insights about the way the population needs to be served and the improvement that the police should make to achieve an objective of better and thoughtful service.

Formulation of hypotheses

To show the City Council that this is a problem, the study set up should defeat the null hypothesis that the negative job satisfaction of police in the city council has no effect on job performance as measured by the attitudes and perceptions held by the public regarding the effectiveness of the police in doing its job. If the null hypothesis held, then there would be insufficient evidence and no need for increased investments in the force to improve service delivery. Part of the study will also delve into specific areas of job performance to establish that more resources lead to a significant increase in positive job attitudes and job performance by police officers. Other sub-themes that will be explored in the study in the same relationship manner will include the addition of personnel, equipment, and boosting of police morale. To that effect, the following are the proposed hypotheses for the study:

  • H1 – An increase in the resources allocated to the police force at the city council leads to a rise in the number of people expressing satisfaction with the job the police are doing and a significant positive change in attitudes toward the police.
  • H2 – The addition of more personnel is perceived as having a favorable outcome toward the ability of the police to perform their duties and address the concerns expressed by citizens regarding their efficacy.
  • H3 – When police officers get additional equipment for handling their job, they become more competent in dealing with all aspects of the job and cause positive outcomes in personal interactions with the beneficiaries of their services.
  • H4 – Improved police officers’ morale leads to the improvement of their job performance and would be shown by the changes made by police towards responding to different calls while on the job and handling complainants and suspects as perceived by the population served.

Process of conceptualization and operationalization

The process of conceptualization of job satisfaction covers the review of the job description of police officers and the expectations of the existing job attitudes in an ideal scenario. Positive responses to job-related queries should entail job satisfaction while negative responses should denote dissatisfaction (Maguire, 2003). Particular aspects of job satisfaction are considered in regard to the operationalization of job satisfaction. These aspects are applied to the daily job environment of the worker. An example of a conceptualization of job satisfaction would be the demonstration that police officers maintain and offer positive remarks when asked about their job. The officers are on good terms with the supervisors, and they praise their bosses while being content with their pay. An example of the operationalization of job satisfaction would present statements that elaborate on the way job satisfaction applies to particular situations and duties of a police officer. They include statements about the work on the present job, where the police officer could say that it is fascinating or boring. It may also include the current pay, where a restricted range or attitudes like bad, fair, or well-paid suffice. These responses can be used as options for officers to answer when they are surveyed. Here, the study uses a Likert scale to gauge the level of content that police officers express (Dantzker & Hunter, 2012).

The primary concept of the study

The primary concept of the study is job satisfaction. When police officers are satisfied with their jobs, they will exhibit strong attitudes towards improvement and show aspirations for career development. They will be more responsive to reforms and policies that seek to improve police job performance towards the public.

Operational and conceptual definitions of job satisfaction

Job satisfaction will be considered as a term that relates to the way an individual is a content with his or her job, which will be used as the research’s conceptual definition. Furthermore, the operational definition of job satisfaction will relate to the levels of satisfaction with the promotional opportunities that are available in the position, the level of satisfaction of police officers with their coworkers and bosses, and their satisfaction with pay.

Survey instrument

The survey instrument for the research will include questions seeking to capture the attitude and perception of the served population towards the police. The questions will also capture the attitudes of police officers about their job (Withrow, 2014).

Survey instruments to measure the study concept will include a questionnaire and focus group interviews. The questionnaires will be distributed to the public by random sampling. The focus group will consist of two groups made of junior-level officers and senior-level officers. The focus group discussions will capture the attitudes of police officers on job satisfaction and will be conducted by independent researchers who are not part of the City Council administration or the police force. The questionnaires given to the public will include the following questions, whose responses will be coded in Likert-type scales (Bryman, 2008).

  1. How satisfied are you with the police?
  2. Are you okay with the way the police do their job in your neighborhood?
  3. Are you in support of the way the police seek to prevent the use of illegal drugs and alcohol abuse in the neighborhood?
  4. Do you think there is enough presence of good police officers to serve you?
  5. In a recent encounter with the police, how satisfied were you with the way you were treated?

The evaluation of the hypotheses of the study will require confirmation that the variables used in the study are related (Frank, Brandi, Cullen, & Stichman, 2001). After that, the research will have to offer information regarding the nature of the existing relationships. Valid relationships between the measured aspects of attitude and job satisfaction that correspond to an increase in resources, the addition of personnel, the addition of support, and improvement of morale will guide the research’s conclusion about the hypotheses. In addition to saying that the hypotheses are true, the information will quantify the extent of influence that the specific parameters measured in the research have on the job satisfaction of police officers in the City Council. Moreover, the information will influence decisions on fixing the identified problems at the police department (Chen, 2016).

References

Bryman, A. (2008). Social research methods (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Chen, Z. (2016). Measuring police subcultural perceptions: A study of frontline police officers in China. Singapore: Springer Science.

Dantzker, M. L., & Hunter, R. D. (2012). Research methods for criminology and criminal justice. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Frank, J., Brandi, S. G., Cullen, F. T., & Stichman, A. (2001). Reassessing the impact of race on citizens’ attitudes toward the police: A research note. In C. Pope, R. Lovell, & S. Brandl, Voices from the Field: Readings in criminal justice research (pp. 95-108). Pennsylvania: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.

Maguire, E. R. (2003). Organizational structure in American police agencies: Context, complexity, and control. New York, NY: State University of New York Press.

Withrow, B. L. (2014). Research methods in crime and justice. New York, NY: Routledge.

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